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Charles Dickens - featuring BBC Television's David Copperfield (1999)

Prunella Scales , Trevor Eve  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Prunella Scales, Trevor Eve, Maggie Smith, Daniel Radcliffe, Nathan Lyndhurst
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: October 1, 2003
  • Run Time: 504 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000CGCT1
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,844 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Review

Anton Lesser made an emotionally charged, almost tremulous, Dickens, especially recreating the writer's
inspirational public readings --The Times

The BBC's three-DVD set offers its millennium David Copperfield, the lauded Peter Ackroyd three-part drama-documentary Dickens, a dramatised reading of A Christmas Carol starring Anton Lesser, and a genuine curiosity, Songs From Grope Lane (19th Century London pub songs, supposedly enjoyed by the 12-year-old Dickens in spare moments while working at the infamous blacking factory). Anton Lesser makes a fine Dickens and he shines again in the gem of this collection...A Christmas Carol. --The Tribune (USA)

Product Description

This comprehensive three DVD boxed set explores the life, times, and works of Charles Dickens, the great Victorian author. Dickens is undoubtedly one of the great literary geniuses of all time, yet there is much about his incredible life that remains unknown. His is a fascinating story - from rags to riches - complete with bankruptcy, prison, forced child labour, fame and fortune, overshadowed by guilt and secrecy.

The full content of this box set demonstrates how much Dickens drew upon his own experiences when writing fiction.

DVD 1 - UNCOVERING THE REAL DICKENS
The great author's fascinating biography, presented by Peter Ackroyd is an innovative mix of documentary and dramatic reconstruction which vividly protrays his extrodinary life. Resembling the plot of one of his novels, this lavish literary production sets out to blur the lines between Dickens' fiction and his own life. The cast includes Anton Lesser, Prunella Scales and Timothy West (176 mins)

DVD 2 - DAVID COPPERFIELD
The classic 1999 BBC version of the most autobiographical of Dickens novels staring Bos Hoskins, Daniel Radcliffe, Maggie Smith, Ian McKellan, Zoe Wanamaker and Nicolas Lyndurst. Three hours of classic BBC drama. (186 minutes)

DVD 3 - A CHIRSTMAS CAROL
At his house, a group of friends and relatives listen to Dickens as he tells his Christmas story. Anton Lesser as Dickens, brings this classic gost story to life in a masterly and haunting way. (97 minutes)

SONGS FROM GRAPE LANE
The 12-year-old Dickens escapes his miserable daily life and the blacking facotry to enjoy an brief spell of raucous tavern entertainment. Lucy Skeaping's ensemble performs deliciously seedy pub songs from Dicksian London in the mid-19th century. (25 mins)

THE MAKING OF 'UNCOVERING THE REAL DICKENS'
A surprising look behind the scenes of this evocative production (27 mins)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charles Dickens February 27, 2006
The following is the item description found on the back of the box..

"This comprehensive three DVD boxed set explores the life, times, and works of Charles Dickens, the great Victorian author. Dickens is undoubtedly one of the great literary geniuses of all time, yet there is much about his incredible life that remains unknown. His is a fascinating story - from rags to riches - complete with bankruptcy, prison, forced child labour, fame and fortune, overshadowed by guilt and secrecy.

The full content of this box set demonstrates how much Dickens drew upon his own experiences when writing fiction.

DVD 1 - UNCOVERING THE REAL DICKENS

The great author's fascinating biography, presented by Peter Ackroyd is an innovative mix of documentary and dramatic reconstruction which vividly protrays his extrodinary life. Resembling the plot of one of his novels, this lavish literary production sets out to blur the lines between Dickens' fiction and his own life. The cast includes Anton Lesser, Prunella Scales and Timothy West (176 mins)

DVD 2 - DAVID COPPERFIELD

The classic 1999 BBC version of the most autobiographical of Dickens novels staring Bos Hoskins, Daniel Radcliffe, Maggie Smith, Ian McKellan, Zoe Wanamaker and Nicolas Lyndurst. Three hours of classic BBC drama. (186 minutes)

DVD 3 - A CHIRSTMAS CAROL

At his house, a group of friends and relatives listen to Dickens as he tells his Christmas story. Anton Lesser as Dickens, brings this classic gost story to life in a masterly and haunting way. (97 minutes)

SONGS FROM GRAPE LANE

The 12-year-old Dickens escapes his miserable daily life and the blacking facotry to enjoy an brief spell of raucous tavern entertainment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Charles Dickens is an acquired taste...at times I find he tries too hard to make his characters eccentric or extreme (either bad or good). Before the age of television, novels like his Bleak House were often too long. So what I like best in this collection is Anton Lesser's crisp, riveting narration of "A Christmas Carol." We are used to seeing Scrooge made real by actors such as Alastair Sims or George C. Scott or Albert Finney...(I won't even discuss the travesty of Jim Carrey's performance).

What makes this version so different and exciting is that we encounter the well known story afresh - Anton Lesser plays the role of Charles Dickens himself and merely recites the story before a small group of friends at Christmas. But this is anything but a routine, boring recitation. For the first time, many will encounter the story just as it was written and they can use their imaginations to create a Scrooge in their own minds...or a Jacob Marley...or a Tiny Tim...or the Ghost of Christmas Present. I really loved the performance and Anton Lesser must be congratulated for making the story alive again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dickens for the small screen September 10, 2011
By Jim D.
With the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens' birth coming in 2012, this set is an excellent introduction to the life and times of the great British writer. The main items included are: a dramatization of David Copperfield--probably the most autobiographical of his novels--featuring a very young Daniel Radcliffe, Maggie Smith, Ian McKellen, and Bob Hoskins; a recreation of Dickens reading his own work, in this case A Christmas Carol; and a full-length documentary, narrated by Dickens expert Peter Ackroyd. (There were as many secrets and mysteries in this author's life as in one of his books.) Anton Lesser portrays the author in both the reading and the documentary. I think the dialogue in the Copperfield is mostly comprehensible to the American ear, and the absence of subtitles is not an issue, but a selection of songs from the period really could have used them. It's all BBC television stuff, well-cast and lavishly produced, and in this packaging (over eight hours), a good deal.
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